tv CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow and John Berman CNN February 21, 2017 7:00am-8:01am PST
beautiful family, candy and the whole family, for joining us today. very special to accompany him and his family for the first time seeing the carson exhibit. i love this guy. he's a great guy. really a great guy. and he can tell you better than me, but i'll tell you what, we really started something with ben. we're very, very proud of him. hopefully next week he'll get his approval. three or four weeks late. and you're doing better than most. but the democrats will come along. i have no doubt he'll be one of the great ever in that position. he grew up in detroit and had very little. he defied every statistic. he graduated from yale and went on to the university of michigan's medical school. he became a brilliant, totally
brilliant neurosurgeon. saved many lives and helped many, many people. we're going to do great things in our african-american communities together. ben is going to work with me very, very closely. and hud has a meaning far beyond housing. if properly done, it's a meaning that's as big as anything there is. and ben will be able to find the true meaning, and the true meaning of hud as its secretary. so i just look forward to that. i look forward to watching that. he'll do things nobody ever thought of. i also want to thank senator tim scott for joining us today. a friend of mine. a great, great senator from south carolina. i like the state of south carolina. i like all those states where i won by double, double, double digits. you know, those states, but south carolina was one and tim has been fantastic how he represents the people. and they love him. i also want to profoundly thank
alveda king for being here. and as we saw her uncle's wonderful exhibit and he certainly deserves that. mrs. king, and by the way, pmrs king, i watch her all the time and she is a tremendous fighter for justice. and so thank you very much. i have been watching you for so long, and you are so incredible. and i want to thank you for all the nice things you say about me. not everybody says nice things, but -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> thank you, thank you. >> appreciate that. >> so with that, we're going to just end this incredible beginning of a morning. but engraved in the wall very nearby, a quote by the reverend
martin luther king jr. in 1955, he told the world, we are determined to work and fight until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream. and that's what it's going to be. we're going to bring this country together. maybe bring some of the world together. but we're going to bring this country together. we have a divided country. it's been divided for many, many years, but we're going to bring it together. i hope every day of my presidency we will be honoring the determination and work towards a very worthy goal and for lonny n david and david and ben and alveda and everybody, i just want to -- i just have to say that what they've done here is something that can probably not be duplicated. it was done with love and lots
of money, right? lots of money. can't avoid that. but it was done with tremendous love and passion and that's why it's so great. so thank you all very much for being here. i appreciate it, and congr congratulations. this is a truly great museum. thank you. >> there you have the president of the united states delivering remarks in a message of unity calling this a nation divided. a nation that will come together under him. this after touring this morning the national museum of african-american history and culture noting he is the second sitting president after president obama to visit this. he's also thanking people there that toured with him, including his hud secretary dr. ben carson, his wife candy there. you also have senator tim scott of south carolina, as well as his daughter, ivanka trump. he addressed the wave of anti-semitism in the recent attacks across the country saying work must still be done
to root out hate, prejudice and evil. he also spoke about the work that he will do with dr. ben carson to help those in inner cities. those african-american communities in need of help, a promise he made on the campaign trail. he also singled out alveda king, the niece of dr. martin luther king jr. he brought her. now we watch the president walking out there with the group that he's toured with. he did not take any questions. let's bring in our panel and talk more about what we just heard from the president. back with me, joe johns at the white house, mark preston, ron brownstein from "the atlantic," and jackie kucinich joins us, washington bureau chief for the daily beast and bruce lavell, director for the president's national diversity coalition during the campaign. nice to have you all on with us. mark preston, let me go to you first and your thoughts. >> presidential, subdued.
pointed out, of course, the contributions that african-americans have given to this country. specifically those who helped lead the fight for equality and equal rights. as far as the criticism he's come for not directly addressing the anti-semitic wave of violence we've seen sweep across this country, he did today. will that be put to rest? by and large, donald trump acted like a president and not somebody that wakes up at 4:00 a.m. and starts firing off tweets to his critics. >> you supported the president all through the campaign as well. i want your take on the comments today juxtaposed with some of the recent things we've seen, such as him criticizing civil rights icon john lewis after lewis called him not a legitimate president, after he's not met with the congressional black caucus. elijah cummings did not want to meet with him for political
reasons. congressman cummings says that's not the case. there's been a lot of controversy and back and forth around this. how do you square the two? and then what we heard from the president today, standing alongside alveda king. >> that's a long question. thanks for having me. the national diversity coalition for trump is still ongoing. i'm still active as executive director. we're the larmgest diversity coalition in the history of a republican candidate founded by michael cohen. a jewish american for trump, and his survivor -- his dad was a holocaust survivor. we have a lot of different facets. over 1 million-plus actively involved. i want to put more light on this historical day. i talked to alveda king earlier on the phone as i went to the studio. she was very emotional, the fact that finally there's a republican president or president that has really touched the nerve and the hearts of the american people and as he
said in his inauguration. it's profound. and to have dr. ben carson being over hud and all the things we need to accomplish in our inner cities. february 28th, meet with all the hbc to talk about dire needs in our hbc colleges. my good friend omarosa who has the president's ear on a lot of things we need to accomplish in the african-american community. >> on that point, how will you hold the president accountable to follow through on those promises he made on the campaign trail, saying things like to inner city african communities, largely in front of white audiences at these rallies. he said you're living in poverty. your schools are no good. you have no jobs. 58% of your youth is unemployed. what do you have to lose? how will you hold him accountable? >> well, first of all, the president trump, the good thing, i've been supporting him since 20 2015, in june. what he says he backs up.
he's proven that in this month presidency in the white house. so i am very elated the fact that president trump did take account that there is these needs in these inner cities. it's also fair to say, guys, and everybody on the panel, you know, these particular areas and cities have been under democrat rule for years so the question is, yeah, what do you have to lose? give the trump administration, president trump administration, a chance to come in here. we're putting our money where our mouth is. so this is very positive. it's awesome actually. >> jackie kucinich, he also addressed these anti-semitic attacks and threats and the wave that we're seeing in this country. we heard him do that just after hillary clinton tweeted directly at the president this morning saying jcc threat, cemetery desecration, online attacks are so troubling they need to be stopped. everyone needs to speak out, starting with potus. >> this was definitely a step in the right direction, certainly. this is the first time he's addressed this directly.
but this can't be a one-time thing because this has been something that has been growing for quite awhile at this point. just last week was when he told a jewish reporter asking about this to sit down. he avoided the question in the past. so this isn't just -- you can't just say it once. this is something that if it continues in this country, which it hasn't stopped, he's going to have to continue talking about. in order to reassure americans who are afraid, frankly, that their president isn't going to speak up with them on such a serious issue. >> ron probrownstein, your thoughts. as bruce is pointing out, these are struggles that have persisted for a long time for inner city communities and bruce makes a point that, look, the president is arguing that democratic policies have not served them. at the same time, you have the nomination and the appointment of attorney general jeff sessions who some
african-american groups spoke out against because of his past and track record. how do you think the president's actions jive with his words? >> the actions are the key. lots of opportunity to justify or support what he said he was going to do. first of all, he won 8% of african-american voters. he made modest inroads. better than republicans did against the first african-american presidential nominee barack obama. his beachhead is rather constrained to begin with. there are lots of opportunities on the policy. the justice department under president obama was a significant force in pressuring for police reform, for example, at the local level. signing a series of consent decrees. are those going to be revisited? are we going to see new ones in new areas? voting rights where attorney general sessions has a history. and let's focus on where ben carson is going to be.
under castro, the obama administration aggressively promulgated a series of regulations about fair housing. about extending access, trying to break down residential segregation. what is the future of those initiatives? on a lot of different fronts there will be plenty of opportunities for president trump to put his actions where his words are, and we will have to see how that unfolds in practice. >> one thing that i've heard from some trump supporters, namely in african-american trump supporter in inner city cleveland who leads a group of inner city residents for the president. this is what she did during the campaign. he needs to have ainer city town hall. he needs to come here, see our concerns and address them directly. not something we've seen yet from the president. should we expect something akin to that? >> i don't think we're going to go as far to see something like that. one of his biggest weaknesses is his inability to take criticism. and i think, time and time
again, we've seen donald trump get very defensive when challenge challenged about what his personal views are. i think going into a situation like that as we've seen with republicans who have gone home to hold town halls themselves, we've only seen a handful that have actually gone out and talked to those who were challenging these republicans about the policies that are forthcoming. so i don't necessarily think we'll see that happen, but to the point of actions do mean more than words, and i think we should give president trump a chance to try to do something. he said he's going to. let's see if he follows through on that. >> joe johns, we didn't know if we were going to hear from the president today, make these remarks. he did make them. he also gave an interview to msnbc. >> that's right. and to be honest, this was a perfect venue, the perfect time
for the president to step out and say some things that needed to be said. things that were coming to a head, if you will. so an opportunity for him to get himself on the record and move in the direction of what he calls unity. important also that many presidents have been very good at symbolism. this was a symbolic event, but as many have said, the issue is what happens next. and a lot of that has to do with budget priorities and donald trump is not the only person who gets to decide. on capitol hill, there are a lot of concerns about government spending and reining it in and how that affects minority communities like the community represented at the african-american museum remains an open question, poppy. >> it's an important point. joe johns, thank you. mark preston, ron brownstein, jackie kucinich, bruce lavell.
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this morning we're following two defining moments in u.s. immigration policy. today the department of homeland security is issuing new guidelines. they just put these memos out. telling law enforcement agencies and i.c.e. around the country on how to crack down on illegal immigration. some democrats are calling this mass deportation. those are their concerns. this comes at the same time as the white house and lawmakers there rework that suspended travel ban on those seven muslim majority countries. we're learning those key changes that are being made are ones to try to get this one this time to stand up to any legal challenges. of course, the last travel ban executive order was suspended, held up in the courts. let's go to laura jarrett. so let's begin. two very different things. two critically important things. let's begin with the memos from dhs. what do we know about what they are telling i.c.e. and law
enforcement about how to crack do down? >> it's a shift as compared to under the obama administration. we see here now language laying out in plain detail how we're going to start a process of expedited deportations for undocumented immigrants and giving much more discretion to immigration officers. president trump recently gave an interview to msnbc on these immigration issues. we might have some sound available to go to. >> we have to have a safe country. we have to let people come in that are going to love the country. this is about love. this building is about love. we have to have people come in that are going to love the country, not people that are going to harm the country. and i think a lot of people agree with me on that. so we'll have various things coming out over a period of time and you'll see them as they come out, and we'll let you know exactly what i are. but we have to let people come
in that are going to be positive for our country. >> so as you heard, poppy, he wants to say we want to let in people who are going to be positive, but these restrictions that we're seeing from the dhs, the homeland security guidance is an expansion of people now deportable under the president's executive orders. >> does it address -- i'm just looking at them here. we've got all them printed out. i haven't read through them because they just crossed but you have. does it address daca, children who have been brought into this country as young, young children to undocumented parents? >> it does. right off the top it says for now daca will stay in place. that's the deferred action that president obama put in place for the d.r.e.a.m.er. it's something that homeland security at least has been highlighting as something to say, look, for right now, that stays.
>> the executive order, the new travel ban if you will, that's being written, they are taking a lot more care, a lot more eyes on it. the white house counsel's office is writing it. do we have any sense of what the key change is going to be to try to get this one to stand up to any court challenges? >> one of the things we know from what was previewed over the weekend by homeland security is green card holders will now be exempted under the new executive order. so they will not face the travel ban. what happens to visa holders like a student visa holder? we don't yet know. green card holders are safe. we expect to see a phase-in period. whereas before under the old order there was that automatic switchover which caused all the chaos in the airports. so this time we're hearing from homeland security. it will be more of a stepped, you know, phased in process. >> laura jarrett, great reporting from washington. thank you so much. coming up next for us, the
president makes a big pick, tapping a new national security adviser, lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster known for speaking his mind. known for his candor. what will he do to change the national security counsel as a whole? we're going to talk about all of that straight ahead. ♪ everything your family touches sticks with them. make sure the germs they bring home don't stick around. use clorox disinfecting products. because no one kills germs better than clorox.
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good morning. i'm poppy harlow. john berman has the week off. brilliant, outstanding and a force of nature. some of the phrases used to describe the president's pick for national security adviser. lieutenant general h.r. mcmaster. >> a man of tremendous talent and tremendous experience. i watched and read a lot over the last two days. he is highly respected by everybody in the military. and we're very honored to have him.
>> i'd just like to say what a privilege to continue serving our nation. i'm grateful to you for that opportunity. and i look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything i can to advance and protect the interests of the american people. >> general mcmaster already earning bipartisan praise. senator john mccain describing mcmaster as a good pick, a man of genuine intellect, character and ability. this announcement comes after the president fired michael flynn just a week ago. let's discuss with cnn global affairs analyst david rhodes. for a president that said he knew a lot more about how to defeat isis than the generals, he's got a lot of generals around him. he now has mcmaster. retired general james mattis.
general john kelly as hhs secretary. he's got general keith kellogg as someone who will serve on the national security counsel as chief adviser there. but let's remember what the president said about all of the generals back in november. >> i know more about isis than the generals do. believe me. i would bomb the [ bleep ] out of them. >> so that was november 2015 on the campaign trail. but, look. he's surrounding himself with generals now. what do you make of that? >> you can say it's a step forward and again, everyone is praising this choice. but what's specialing about that sound bite to me is this reference to bombing them. that's the opposite of mcmaster's philosophy. he was very much about working -- legendary with this, about working with local iraqis, urging his troops to read local books about them and turn local
people into allies. that's very different from thinking you can bomb people into submission. >> it is. and the question becomes sort of whose strategy will win out when you've got the president's right hand steve bannon sitting on the national security counsel that mcmaster will now head up. >> it is. and it's very different because mcmaster, he's got on the ground experience. and whereas you have other people, bannon is seen as an ideologue. he was in the navy, but he's not spent time on the ground deal with these insurgencies. that's the question and the president makes the decision who will he listen to? is it going to be mcmaster? >> some of the reporting that cnn has around why general harward turned down the offer from the president last week on this is because he didn't think he could bring in his own team. but now here's what's the president's chief of staff reince priebus is saying. >> the president has said very clearly that the new nsa director will have total and
complete say over the makeup of the nsc and all of the components of the nsc. and there is no demand made by president trump on any nsa director. >> how important for mcmaster to bring in his own team? >> it's critical. the decision by admiral harward maybe gave mcmaster more leverage. one of the first things to watch is who he brings in and does he change some of the people brought in by general flynn. >> let's listen to something that general mcmaster did say. he did this video with the army about developing talent. here is the general in his own words. >> oftentimes we can confuse activity with progress if we're not thinking critically about what we're doing. so you want -- you need officers who can think, really, about those first order questions. how they relate to what we're doing. who can frame problems from the outside and look at it
critically. those officers have to be able to thrive and we have to encourage that kind of thinking. and we have to be able to tolerate a certain degree of irreverence. >> tolerate irrelerence? what do you make of that? >> that's what mcmaster is famous for. it held him back in his promotions because he did question his superiors. he doesn't support the idea of simply building many more ships and spending money that that will automatically lead to military strength. he wants a small dynamic force and officers who think independently, not just spending more money. >> what about the book he wrote that a lot are pointing to as being very telling of his thinking. "dereliction of duty" about the vietnam war and a look back at what he deems are failures by military leadership not to fully inform the president, especially president lyndon johnson, about the successes and the failures of the vietnam war? >> yeah, the book was widely praised, and it criticized
generals for not pushing back on president johnson and warning that certain tactics in vietnam weren't going to work. look, it's a great choice, but, you know, depends on who president trump listens to. let's give president trump credit for choosing mcmaster. he will speak his mind and we'll see what happens in this trump white house and again who the president listens to. >> you have a lot of people speaking their mind. the president, mcmaster, steve bannon. now they'll all work together. david rohde, nice to have you on. republican lawmakers across the country holding town halls, getting quite a lot of feedback. an earful from their constituents. and this is what they're hearing. >> down with trump! down with trump! >> coming up, we'll be joined by someone who is helping get these angry constituents to their town halls. not just democrats, but republicans as well. ck.
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this is what democracy looks like. >> build that wall! build that wall! >> that is what greeted republican congressman scott taylor of virginia last night at his town hall event. the protests continued inside the auditorium. this is part of what republican lawmakers and some democrats across the country have been facing for weeks as they go to their home districts. they are facing a wave of this. let's talk about it with one of the organizers helping folks go to these local town hall events. jimmy is the founder of the town hall project. you were a field organizer for the clinton campaign in iowa and ohio. nice to have you on. >> thanks for having me. excited to be here. >> let's get to this.
some republican -- you started this effort about three weeks ago. about 100 volunteers. and you list on your site republican and democratic town hall events. some republicans are arguing that these protests are astroturf or phony. they're organized by democratic activists rather than just regular citizens who are going, and some of these protesters are paid. let's listen to what sean spicer said earlier this month about that. >> do you sense instead of being organic disruption, do you sense there's an organized pushback and people are being paid to protest? >> absolutely. protesting has become a profession now. it's not these organic uprising we've seen that the tea party was a very organic movement. this has become a very paid astroturf type movement. >> is your movement a paid movement? do you know protesters being
paid? are you guys paying those folks to go? >> we are not paying any protesters. i've not heard of any protesters being paid. if that's the case, i don't know why 1,000 people were in oregon for a ron wyden town hall. this is something that's happening across the country, red states, blue states. there's civic engagement like we've never seen. it's all organic and happening at the grassroots level. >> many would argue where was this engagement for hillary clinton during the campaign? >> so i think monday morning quarterback a lot of things, but we're here now, and there's more people involved in the process than we've ever seen. so trying to give them a constructive outlet to start that dialogue with their representatives. >> let me read you what republican consultant doug hye wrote. democrats who criticized the 2009 and 2010 tea party protests missed the point and lost their house majority.
democrats were caught flat-footed. is he right? >> so i don't want to speak to what happened then. i think there's some similarities and there's a ton of energy and enthusiasm. and today and these are things that have happened throughout our country's history and town halls have been a staple of american democracy since the founding of our country. so i think republicans are being a little surprised by some of the crowds at their districts but it's also happening in democratic town halls as well. >> it certainly is. let me get your sense on how far you and fellow democrats are willing to go because one thing that made the tea party so successful in its mission, some people didn't like the tactics but was it obstructionism? was being willing to have the government shut down, was being willing to primary people in their own party. are you and those in your group on this willing to primary some of those democrats who are
running if they work with this administration, if they support some of the president's moves because there are some proposals from the president, like a big infrastructure spending bill, that a lot of democrats can get on board with? >> we're not taking sides on any policy issues or primaries or anything like that. we're just engaging -- encouraging people to engage in the process and empower them to use their voicers and like i said, we have events from both parties pushing everyone to go and be a part of the process. and i think that's a step in civic engagement. we've seen protests and marches and now people are wanting to get involved locally in their communities and we think that this is the next step to maybe running for office or volunteering on campaigns or midterms. historically turnout is low. so just voting in general. >> what's the lesson learned from 2012 for you guys? >> 2020 still a ways away.
when people are active, when people are paying attention, when people care this much about the policies that are being discussed in washington, i think it's good for the nation n the country that people are having these conversations and representatives are having to listen to the people that voted them in and that are effectively their bosses. >> and that pay their salaries. >> yes. >> nice to have you on. >> thank you. a programming note, tomorrow night on cnn, a big debate hosted by our dana bash and chris cuomo. who will lead the democratic party in the era of president trump? the democratic leadership debate is ahead tomorrow night, 10:00 p.m. eastern only here on cnn. coming up, the trump administration expected to release a new tweaked travel ban this week. it's putting some visa holders on edge. coming up, a story only told on cnn. you'll hear from a doctor, a syrian doctor in the united states who is not a citizen, is treating these patients in rural
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from those countries who are living and working in the u.s. right now? like syrian doctor allah al nafal. he's in this country on a special j-1 visa waiver that allows 1500 physicians to come from overseas each year to this country to temporarily work in underserved parts of the country. christine romans has his story. >> south dakota is considered an underserved area where there's shortage of physicians. that's why international physicians are welcome here. >> reporter: it's winter in sioux falls, south dakota. >> i was born and raised in damascus, syria. i went to medical school back home in damascus. graduated in 2008 and came to continue my education here in the united states. >> reporter: today dr. nafal is a pediatric endocrinologist at the medical clenic serving patients from north dakota and south dakota, minnesota, iowa
and nebraska. >> all right, young lady. so i have patients who have traveled hundreds of miles to come see me. and there are many patients who i travel to go see. >> we also use airplanes to get physicians out into those rural communities when the distance is significant. >> reporter: but there's one place al nafal is hesitant to fly to. out of the u.s. to see relatives. president trump's executive order bars citizens of seven muslim maurgeity countries, including syria, from entering into the united states. with that order in legal limbo, he is afraid he may be forced to leave his patients behind if he travels abroad and can't get back into the u.s. that's because he's not a u.s. citizen. he is here on a special j-1 visa waiver. a specific but important program that allows about 1500 international physicians each year to temporarily work in underserved areas of the country.
>> he is significant to this part of the country because he treats a lot of children who have type 1 diabetes, and he is one of only five full-time pediatric endocrinologists in north dakota and south dakota. >> what they did not consider is this executive order is not going to affect just people of the seven countries. it's also going to affect people in the united states, people in rural america. >> reporter: the state department said exceptions to the travel and visa ban could be issued on a case-by-case basis if it's in the national interest but did not specify if a doctor shortage in a rural area would be an exception. >> we don't know what's going to happen in a year and a half, two years from now. we might need to move outside of the united states. >> for our family, it really disappoints me that this was done because it's teaching my
son that people from these countries are threats. i don't want him growing up thinking that people from syria, that his family are threats, because they're not. >> christine romans reporting. thank you both very much. still to come, allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination at silicon valley giant uber. so now the company is tapping a former attorney general to lead this investigation. lori segal will join me next on that. and is this a rampant problem across silicon valley? straight ahead. ♪ why do so many businesses rely on the u.s. postal service? because when they ship with us, their business becomes our business. ♪ that's why we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country. ♪ here, there, everywhere. united states postal service
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lengthy blog post saying in her first few weeks at uber, her manager propositioned her and she went to human resources and they refused to do anything. this is not getting enough headlines right now but it's all that silicon valley is talking about. talk about what uber is facing here and why they brought in eric holder. >> these are really serious allegations. this woman said she was propositioned who was very specific in saying what exactly went wrong. she went to hr. not only did they not do anything, but they said she should transfer teams. almost punished for continuing to say something. other people have felt this exact same way. so she wrote this really detailed account that has very specific wrongdoings in there. so the company is forced, obviously, to play their hand, to say -- to react. you have travis, the ceo tweeting we're going to take this very seriously. he put out a memo. we have a little bit of it. this workplace will be defined
by justice. we want this to be a good culture for women. he's looking at this as an opportunity to define what justice is in the workplace. if you look at this post, this woman didn't see justice when she went to say something isn't going right here. >> i should note, uber has been facing backlash for this and the boycott uber hashtag, forcing him to step off one of the president's advisory boards because of some of the things trump has done and what he said about the president. but big picture here. you cover silicon valley inside n out. you are working on a whole big series about it. how rampant is this stuff in silicon valley? >> i guess what's disheartening about this is this story didn't surprise me. how many times have i been on talking about an engineer, a woman who was harassed because there are two silicon valleys. a silicon valley we see where it's innovation and it's ameritocracy. if you are smart, you can get ahead. the sky is the limit. then the silicon valley i see where i go out and talk to
women, and everyone has a sexual harassment story. there's a study called elephant in the valley last year that got a lot of attention. they asked over 200 women to talk about their experiences. they reported unwanted sexual advances. 65 of those women, they said they received those advances from a superior. and they felt afraid of their personal safety. >> one in three? >> yeah, that is a really big deal. especially when you look at silicon valley. this is the modern day american dream. >> especially in a land of so much opportunity. >> exactly. >> for you covering this, you have experienced this yourself. >> yeah, and i guess it's even personal to me. i remember a big venture capitalist i had a meet with to talk start-ups, i started getting weird text messages late at night with him saying the most inappropriate things. i remember thinking, do i say something? and if i say something, does he tell the star-ups not to talk to me. do i lose who i am and what
makes me good? so that's the problem and that's amplified by women inside of these companies. and that is why you are beginning to see people speak ou out. >> thank you. i'm poppy harlow. "at this hour with kate balduan" begins right now. i'm brianna keilar. moments ago, president trump condemning the recent wave of anti-semitic crimes across the country including bomb threats toward jewish community centers. the president spoke at the national museum of african-american history right here in washington, d.c. let's take a listen to that. >> the anti-semitic threats targeting our jewish community